David asked me to make a comment on these two statements:
“They dream about being completely free, but very few realise that Reality is always Prison, and you only become free at full recognition of this fact.”
Jed McKenna is “far from delivering the full blast of unvarnished Reality.”
To the first one:
1. Prison is a place where one was placed involuntary.
No one asked your permission to be born. Sometimes children throw this argument at their parents, when faced with parental pressure in many areas of their lives. They intuitively know that just because parents gave birth to you or fed you into maturity – parents do not have an automatic right to control your life and your choices. But many attempt to, unconsciously, and the same goes for your ‘loving’ partners.
2. Prison is a place where one is subject to the conditions imposed on them.
The world is as is, imposed on you, divided on the lines of status, financial, physical, intellectual worth and so on. You cannot change that, although some silly fools try. Any so called ‘progressive’ movements only mask the true extent of human reluctance to give up the status quo. The nature of the status quo depends on the historical period. One century it is suffragettes, another it is human slavery, but in Reality – the change is minimal, painfully slow and in no way affects what people really are at core – animals. We simply place feather-light barriers in an attempt to control human nature.
3. Prison is a place where one is subject to the whims of others and cannot remove themselves from that.
In life other human beings always impose on your Reality. This imposition wouldn’t be too bad if its intent towards you was benevolent. But it rarely is. It always contains the seed of self interest and NOT an interest in your welfare. Competing interests cause conflict, and people are not mature enough to seek optimal outcomes for all. Again, animals do not have much choice in the matter. Can a hungry lion find a compromise with a wilder beast, and can the wilder beast stop eating grass (grass is alive too, remember)? Humans, on the other hand, can. But they choose not to, with their awareness levels below ground. Only 2% separates our genetic material from that of the chimpanzees.
4. Prison is a place where one has to fight for personal survival.
In Reality you fight for personal survival every day, just like animals do in the wild. But animals do not have the capacity for self reflection. Humans have such capacity, but hardly ever use it. Intelligent humans do, however, this makes their lives a touch hellish. So if you ever felt like being out of place and a fraud – that’s because you are: you are trying to blend in with the crowd, and most people are doing the same.
These are just the externals. On top of that you are at the mercy of your body, which ages, picks up bugs, is easily damaged, runs a gamut of hormones which affect one’s ability to think rationally and to make grownup decisions without drama and without poisoning others with one’s moods, attitudes and mental states.
If the externals cannot be changed – what can? Your Perspective. Your recognition that this is what IS. THIS IS THE WORLD, REALITY, UNIVERSE. Instead of butting your head against it – one learns to accept ‘what is’ as an ongoing fact of Reality. I may detest lies, murder, torture, but I accept the fact of their existence without agonising over it.
From there on – you are internally free and will remain so even in prison. Incidentally, your PERSONAL Reality will change from that, even if Reality at large stays the same.
To the second one:
For Jed not delivering the ‘full blast of Reality’.. he just confirmed this supposition in his latest instalment. Perhaps, he never used to defer in the past: what is there to protect at 30? But now he has much to protect.
“Besides not wanting to be jailed, tortured, excommunicated, or blacklisted, I’m sure he [Alexander Pope] just didn’t want to alienate his readership, which would be an easy thing to do.
I myself always hold back. Maybe when I write Jed Talks 44: Deathbed Jed, I’ll really let ‘er rip, but for now we have to keep things civil. No one is threatening me with the rack and ruin, but if I alienate my imagined readership then I will have failed to communicate, and what’s the point of being more honest if I’m just talking to myself?”
(emphasis is mine)
And finally.. two passages in the book echo what I once said here: I OWN my insights, and I did it on my own.
“I can take my maxims as gospel and trust them implicitly because I fought for them and won them fair and square. I didn’t adopt them or subscribe to them or have them handed down to me by some Big Daddy guru. I did the hard work and made them mine. I own them.”
“Who goes beyond goes alone.” The party crowd didn’t sign up for that and seem blissfully unaware that there’s anything above the parking lot.”
If you still haven’t grokked why Mr. McKenna and myself are harping on about the power of own mind – you probably are in the parking lot and will remain there for posterity.
Your fully engaged alive Mind, not the absence of it, sets you free.